Chapter 11 Summary
Katniss has begun to think about what it will mean to be broken. What is Snow trying to do? The answer comes to Katniss when least expected. She is playing a game with Buttercup and a flashlight. Buttercup tries to catch the light as it moves on the floor, which is serving as a distraction for the others who are locked away in the dull bomb shelter. However, when Katniss moves the light to the wall, she realizes that Buttercup becomes paralyzed: he still wants to catch the light, but cannot. So he does nothing. Katniss realizes that she is like Buttercup and that President Snow is using Peeta like an unobtainable flashlight.
Katniss finds Finnick and explains that she has come to realize how President Snow is using Peeta. Finnick, who still tries to occupy his mind by making knots in a length of rope, explains that Snow is doing the same thing to him with Annie. Finnick apologizes for not preparing Katniss properly and offers her his rope in tie knots with in the meantime. Katniss returns to her area and begins to occupy her hands with the rope. She notices that Gale is looking at her and Finnick with jealousy.
The bombing finally ends and Katniss is immediately taken away to make a propo. They return to the surface and Katniss looks at the debris. Oddly, there are also two dozen long stem roses, the same that Snow had given her and Peeta before the Quarter Quell. Katniss explains that the roses are a message from Snow.
Now, Katniss must perform the propo, but she finds that she has nothing to say. When Cressala tries doing a “Q & A” session with Katniss, Katniss seems to respond. However, before she is able to finish her first sentence explaining that District 13 and the Mockingjay have survived, Katniss’s voice breaks. She can no longer be the Mockingjay if it means that Peeta will be tortured as punishment. Finnick explains to the others that Katniss has figured out how Snow is using Peeta and Katniss bursts into tears.
It seems like good news when Haymitch explains that Plutarch has authorized a rescue mission. It is a costly mission, which is why they have not rescued Peeta before. However, it now seems that Peeta’s rescue is worth the cost. There are only seven soldiers sent and Boggs is in charge. The only problem is that the first person to volunteer was Gale. Now, Katniss realizes with dread, she could lose both Peeta and Gale if the mission fails.